Product development

It was massively exciting for me this week to see for the first time, my designs on an actual product!  It seems so easy for the artist to be able to visualise the end product but it is clear from feedback this weekend as people have actually touched, held and used the products that there is incredible value in producing prototypes. 

 Scandi Butterfly print coasters in zesty apple and sky!

Scandi Butterfly print coasters in zesty apple and sky!

It is so satisfying to see an end product!  The colours are lovely - they really complement the design, adding a cool, fresh and relaxed feel to a cup of camomile or a strong shot of espresso (how much do we love the Stovetop Espresso from Freud!)

 Scandi Butterfly in Honey Yellow, Orange and Rose colour way.

Scandi Butterfly in Honey Yellow, Orange and Rose colour way.

I am thinking of launching the design in sets of four using the 2 colour ways shown in the photos above.  However, I am working on a bespoke service at the moment so stay tuned as the ideas develop.

 Frame Deer placemats in teal

Frame Deer placemats in teal

I think that I have said before that I just love the different aspects of the work that I am doing at the moment.  Everything starts with, and I guess is driven by, the art and design, but then there is the product development, market research, promotion and advertising and the customer service.  And thankfully I can say that the business side of what I am trying to do excites me just as much as the art work at its conception.  No two days are the same!  One day I could be standing in a museum with head phones and sketch pad and the next in meetings with buyers and focus groups finalising plans for the products!

New Products!

This has been such an exciting week - I have been researching for a product line that I hope to be launching very, very soon.  I really cant wait to show you!!  I'm having heaps of fun deciding which products to stock and which patterns to apply. Subscribe to this page and be in the know as soon as beautiful, funky items for your home start to appear....and if you have any ideas of what home-wares you would like to see or which pattern you would like to see on a range, make sure that you leave me a note at the end of this post.

Cake stands and frosting

I have found it so daunting to get back to work after the holidays!  

To force myself back into the swing of things and to prevent me from being too precious over my work, I have started each day with a 15 minute sketching frenzy.  This was on the advice of Lilla Rodgers in her book "I just like to make things"

So once the kids have been dropped at school I grab a herby tea, set the 15 minute timer, ipod on with music to draw to and sketch anything that comes to mind; anything thats exciting me at that moment.  And to take it ones stage further, this week I have been drawing with my right hand (I'm left handed through and through!) resulting in scribble sketches full of character and confidence.

Here's how I got on...what do you think?

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Thailand Pattern Love

I am naturally drawn to strong, bold and often simple designs.  Anything overly fancy has never really appealed and so I wasn't entirely sure what I would make of the Thai aesthetic.  What I didn't anticipate was the importance of colour and light out there and how much I would love the hand-drawn elements in the architecture and surface design.

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It seemed every wall-surface contained a narrative - these in particular reminded me of some of the current scandi-style wallpaper designs

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 These sea patterns fascinated me!  So intricate and fun.  I just found it amazing that someone had stood there and painted such detail into a tiny segment of the incredible wall in the palace.  Every inch seems to have been worked on with such effort - art with integrity.

These sea patterns fascinated me!  So intricate and fun.  I just found it amazing that someone had stood there and painted such detail into a tiny segment of the incredible wall in the palace.  Every inch seems to have been worked on with such effort - art with integrity.

 The shape of these cloud trees at the Grand Palace jumped out at me particularly as you could see them interpreted in so many of the wall paintings as well.

The shape of these cloud trees at the Grand Palace jumped out at me particularly as you could see them interpreted in so many of the wall paintings as well.

 So it turns out that todays surface pattern bird trend isn't so new after all....

So it turns out that todays surface pattern bird trend isn't so new after all....

 And as a complete contrast - this was a sock display in one of the largest department stores I have ever seen.

And as a complete contrast - this was a sock display in one of the largest department stores I have ever seen.

 This is literally the last photo I took on my trip - I spotted this vase in the airport in Jordan during our stop off on the way home.  I love the naive, childish nature of the sketchy design and the bold use of the emerald blue against the urban colours of the tower blocks. Possibly one of my favourite finds of the whole trip. 

This is literally the last photo I took on my trip - I spotted this vase in the airport in Jordan during our stop off on the way home.  I love the naive, childish nature of the sketchy design and the bold use of the emerald blue against the urban colours of the tower blocks. Possibly one of my favourite finds of the whole trip. 

Thailand

A little late in coming, but I am now finally getting around to sharing some of the photos from my December trip to Thailand - an absolutely incredible experience!  

It was a fleeting visit when you consider just how long it takes to get there from the UK,  and consequently we spent all of our time in Bangkok but I have definitely seen enough to whet my appetite and a return visit just has to be on the cards in the future - we are determined to explore the rest of the country.  

I cant wait to see how it inspires my art in the coming months - here are a few of my favourite images from the trip.

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  I know that it is upside down but as a picture, I thought that it was much more interesting that way!

I know that it is upside down but as a picture, I thought that it was much more interesting that way!

  This was taken at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on the banks of the River Chao Phraya.  It was an unlikely haven in Bangkok - so incredibly peaceful and relaxing.

This was taken at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on the banks of the River Chao Phraya.  It was an unlikely haven in Bangkok - so incredibly peaceful and relaxing.

  This is certainly a city that comes to life in the night and the colour and lights have their full effect after dark.  These are two contrasting images but together they sum up the trip for me.

This is certainly a city that comes to life in the night and the colour and lights have their full effect after dark.  These are two contrasting images but together they sum up the trip for me.

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Later on in the week I will share some of my pattern love from Thailand   xx

Making it in design

I'm so excited and incredibly grateful to be featured today on the Make it in Design blog!  Essentially it's an endorsement for their course but it's a lovely feature showing my work and sharing a bit about me and some of what has motivated me in design over the years. Thank you lovely ladies for all you have done for me over this year.  It is literally 12 months ago that I started this journey - I could never have imagined that a year down the line I would have new skills, a portfolio of work, website and to top it off be featured on such a lovely blog!

So what now?  More drawing and more designing of greetings cards for a project in the new year.

Here in Berkhamsted

Berkhamsted is full of beautiful places to have a drink and a catch up with someone special but today I was completely taken off my guard by a lovely little place called 'Here'.  Not only was the coffee great(!!) but the setting was beautiful, with loads of quirky ideas that I'd love to emulate at home.  Here are just a couple of the 'best bits':

 

 'Here' in Berkhamsted

'Here' in Berkhamsted

I loved the long padded bench in teal set off against the plain plaster walls.  The hanging pendant bulbs, a current favourite of mine contrasted with the slick, neon typography in the freshest blue ever.  The industrial feel was carried on through the cafe but the smattering of quotes painted on the walls (again in teal - cant tell you how much I love that colour at the moment!) adds a warmth and homely lift.

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There was so much jumping out at me - it really was what I love - a relaxing, time out place where full of aesthetic kicks.  I could have kept on snapping....but thought that it might appear rude. 

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